Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of the Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars, an NHL team based in Dallas, Texas, were previously known as the Minnesota North Stars from 1967 to 1993. Throughout their history, they have reached the Stanley Cup Finals five times, with their victory in 1999 being particularly memorable as it occurred in Dallas after three previous appearances in the city and two in Minnesota. Below are the top best Dallas Stars Players of All Time.

Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of the Dallas Stars - 1

1/ Mike Modano

  • Most points among U.S.-born NHL players (1,374 points)
  • 2014 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee
  • 1999 Stanley Cup Champion

Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of the Dallas Stars - 2

Mike Modano, the standout player in Stars franchise history, holds the record for the most points ever scored by an NHL player born in the United States. With an impressive 561 goals and 1,374 total points, Modano’s talent and skill are undeniable. Selected first overall by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988, Modano’s success was evident early on, especially after his remarkable performance with the Western Hockey League’s Prince Albert Raiders.

Throughout his 20 seasons with the team, Modano set numerous records for goals, assists, and points, solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest players in NHL history. His speed, strength, and agility on the ice earned him the nickname “Superman” among his teammates, showcasing his exceptional abilities as a player.

2/ Sergei Zubov

  • 1999 Stanley Cup Winner
  • 2019 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee
  • #56 retired by Stars in 2022

Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of the Dallas Stars - 3

Sergei Zubov is the finest defenseman to have ever played for the Dallas Stars. He was acquired by the Stars in a 1996 trade with the Penguins, one year after the Penguins got him from the Rangers in 1995. Zubov, a rookie the previous year, had an important offensive role in the Rangers’ Stanley Cup victory in 1994. He played for two clubs in a succession before being let go because they considered his play was too offensively oriented, despite the fact that he had exceptional point totals with both.

His 12 years in Dallas proved that his early-career offensive brilliance was not coincidental. Zubov has 111 goals and 438 assists, making him the Stars’ all-time leading defenseman scorer. He has 771 points in his career, ranking second all-time among Russian defensemen after Sergei Gonchar.

After being injured while wearing #3, Zubov in Pittsburgh chose at random his distinctive #56. He took it with him when he joined the Stars, won a Cup while wearing #56, and it has been hanging in Dallas’ rafters since 2022.

3/ Neal Broten

  • Two-time All-Star
  • Second-most points in Stars franchise history
  • First American to score 100 points in a season
  • #7 retired by Dallas in 1998

Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of the Dallas Stars - 4

Neal Broten is widely regarded as the most exceptional player in the history of the Minnesota North Stars. Throughout his illustrious career, this talented right wing had a strong connection with the state of Minnesota. Hailing from Roseau, Minnesota, Broten showcased his remarkable skills on the ice, scoring an impressive 796 goals in 876 games while representing the Minnesota Golden Gophers in college hockey. His outstanding contributions to the sport earned him the prestigious 2009 Minnesotans’ Choice Award, solidifying his status as the greatest hockey player ever to emerge from the state.

Broten is also a significant figure in American hockey history. He represented the United States at the Miracle on Ice, and in 1985-86, with 105 points, he became the first player of American descent to exceed 100 points in an NHL season. He enjoyed a tremendous postseason run after being traded from the Dallas Stars to the Devils in 1995, including scoring the Stanley Cup Finals’ winning goal.

One of the more intriguing aspects of Broten’s brilliant career involves a renowned hockey player. In 1982, Wayne Gretzky and Broten had their first recorded violent incident. Broten emerged victorious.

4/ Jamie Benn

  • Three-time All-Star
  • 2014-15 Art Ross Trophy winner
  • Stars captain since 2013

Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of the Dallas Stars - 5

Jamie Benn is undoubtedly one of the most beloved players on the Dallas Stars roster. Hailing from Victoria, British Columbia, this left winger has been a cornerstone of the team since being drafted in 2007. With over 1000 games played exclusively for Dallas, Benn’s leadership qualities were recognized in 2013 when he was appointed as the team’s captain. Despite his physical style of play as a power forward, Benn’s durability is evident as he has missed just 14 games in the last decade.

His performance in the middle of the 2010s won him a place among the NHL’s elite players. In the midst of three consecutive All-Star seasons, Benn’s 87-point season in 2014-15 earned him the league’s most points, the Art Ross Award. Despite his offensive slide to a third-line role, Benn led the team on an incredible journey to the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals.

Benn appears to be ready to continue his quest for the Cup following a late-career comeback. No matter the line he plays on, he has always been a leader since he is familiar with and has adapted to his role on the team.

5/ Jere Lehtinen

  • 1999 Stanley Cup winner
  • Three-time Selke Trophy winner
  • #26 retired in 2017

Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of the Dallas Stars - 6

During the early 2000s, Jere Lehtinen established himself as one of the NHL’s premier defensive forwards. Originally chosen in the 1992 NHL Draft by the Minnesota North Stars, Lehtinen remained with the team even after their relocation, dedicating his entire 14-year career to them.

Lehtinen’s exceptional defensive abilities were characterized by his astute checking, anticipatory skills, and unwavering physical condition. These qualities were integral to his world-class defense, making him an incredibly reliable player. In recognition of his outstanding performance, he was honored with the Frank J. Selke Award three times, which is bestowed upon the best defensive forward in the league. Notably, one of these accolades was achieved in 1999, the same year he played a pivotal role in helping the Stars organization secure their first-ever Stanley Cup victory. Throughout his impressive NHL tenure of 873 games, Lehtinen showcased his offensive prowess as well, amassing 243 goals and 514 points.

His #26 was retired by the team in 2017 and is currently displayed next to Mike Modano’s #9 on the wall.

6/ Dino Ciccarelli

  • 2010 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee
  • Three-time All-Star with Minnesota North Stars
  • 103 points in 1986-87

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Dino Ciccarelli’s Hall of Fame career began with the Minnesota North Stars. They didn’t draft him, and neither did anyone else. Dino has scored 608 goals in his NHL career, leading all non-drafted players.

Why were NHL teams hesitant to draft him? His modest size (he was only 5’10” and weighed roughly 190 pounds) and a broken leg in junior year were most likely contributing causes. However, after entering the league in 1981, the right winger from Sarnia, Ontario, helped the North Stars go to the Stanley Cup Final. Despite scoring the majority of his goals from near to the goal, Ciccarelli continued to acquire a reputation as a “pest” who got in the face of the opposition.

Ciccarelli had a notable career with the North Stars, contributing to the team’s success for almost a decade. Over the course of 602 games, he amassed an impressive total of 651 points and earned the honor of being selected to three All-Star teams. Following his time with the North Stars, Ciccarelli went on to play for Detroit, Tampa, and Florida before eventually joining the Capitals in 1989. He continued to make significant contributions to the sport until his retirement in 1999.

7/ Marty Turco

  • Two-time All-Star
  • 2003 Vezina Trophy finalist
  • Leads Dallas Stars goalies in games played and wins

Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of the Dallas Stars - 8

The greatest goalkeeper in Stars history is Marty Turco. The product of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, was selected by the Stars in the fifth round of the 1994 NHL Draft, and he quickly developed into an All-Star goalie for the neighboring University of Michigan. By the time he made his Stars debut in October 2000, more than six years after being drafted, he had a long and successful history.

His performance as Ed Belfour’s backup persuaded the Stars to let Belfour sign a free agent contract with Toronto in 2002. Turco established himself as not only Dallas’ goalie of the future but also one of the league’s top goalies the following year, his first as a starter. He was selected as a starter for the 2003 All-Star Game, set an astounding.932 save percentage in 55 starts, and came in second place to Marty Brodeur in the Vezina voting.

Marty Turco was a skilled puck handler as well. He was able to move the puck around the forwards on the other team thanks to his “Turco Grip,” which added strength to his stick. He established the Stars’ records for games played (509) and victories (262), and after retiring, he started working as a commentator for the NHL Network.

8/ Derian Hatcher

  • 1999 Stanley Cup Champion
  • 2003 All-Star and Norris Trophy Finalist
  • Stars captain from 1995 to 2003

Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of the Dallas Stars - 9

Derian Hatcher, a Michigan defenseman who measured 6’5″ and weighed 245 pounds, used every inch of his massive frame to pummel the opposing team. He was a locker room leader early in his career and was named the Stars captain at the age of 22. Before being traded to the Penguins for the more offensively talented Sergei Zubov, Kevin spent a year and a half on the same defense as his older brother Kevin, who was also a major physical threat.

Hatcher and 6’3″ 215-pound Richard Matvichuk formed a more combative offensive combo, despite Zubov’s greater threat. When head coach Ken Hitchcock deployed them in the 1999 Conference Finals to wear out Avs superstars like Peter Forsberg, their effectiveness was never more clear. Dallas defeated Buffalo in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals, winning the series in seven games.

9/ Brian Bellows

  • 1990 All-Star Team selection
  • 722 points in 753 North Stars games
  • 1,022 points in NHL career

Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of the Dallas Stars - 10

In the 1980s and early 1990s, the North Stars’ most dangerous sniper was left wing Brian Bellows of Canada, who was born in St. Catharine’s, near Niagara Falls. He was the Minnesota North Stars’ leading scorer with 342 goals, trailing just Mike Modano and Jamie Benn in franchise history. Bellows was an exceptionally consistent goal scorer for the green and gold, with three 40-goal seasons. Bellows’ 1989-1990 season stands attention because he tied the franchise record set by then-teammate Dino Ciccarelli with 55 goals.

Brian Bellows has never played for the Dallas Stars since being traded to Montréal in 1993, when he scored six goals in 18 playoff games on his way to the team’s Stanley Cup win. Bellows was a popular local hero in Minnesota, where he supported the Special Olympics and drug prevention, but he never made a mark in Texas.

10/ Ed Belfour

  • 1999 Stanley Cup champion
  • 1999 William M. Jennings trophy winner (fewest goals allowed by the team)
  • 2011 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee

Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of the Dallas Stars - 11

Upon joining the Stars for the 1997-98 season, Ed Belfour had already secured two Vezina Awards during his tenure with the Blackhawks. Despite his relatively brief five-season stint with Dallas, Belfour played a pivotal role in propelling the team to its most remarkable period of triumph. The Stars were well aware of Belfour’s exceptional skills and impressive accolades, which included an Olympic Gold medal for Canada and an NCAA Championship with North Dakota. However, it was also known that Belfour possessed a fiery temperament.

During Belfour’s initial two seasons alongside the team, the Stars emerged victorious as the Presidents Trophy holders for being the top regular-season squad, and also clinched the Stanley Cup in 1999. In the year 2000, they once again made it to the Finals, despite Belfour’s lackluster performance in Game 1 against the eventual champion, New Jersey.

In his characteristic manner, Ed Belfour attributed the six goals scored by the Devils to the cough medicine he had been consuming for a cold, which he believed had thrown off his balance. In a similar fashion to Ed Belfour’s style, he made a remarkable recovery by delivering a shutout in Game 5, which lasted for three overtime periods.

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